Meaning for Meaning: Applying the Theories of Dynamic Equivalence and Contextual Correspondence in Language Translation


The effectiveness of “dynamic equivalence” and “contextual correspondence” as theories/approaches in language translation was tested in two translation contexts: (1) applying and testing the theories in translating scientific articles on food biotechnology, and (2) using the theories to analyze the cultural meanings of “storm surge” in the context of the super typhoon “Haiyan” (“Yolanda”). For the first translation context: three scientific articles on food biotechnology which were originally written in English, as Source Language (SL), were translated into Filipino, as Target Language (TL). Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to test and evaluate the translations, following the guidelines according to Larson (1984). Based on the results of the tests and evaluations, primarily involving comprehension tests administered among target readers, revisions as well as a final translation for each scientific article were made and a final reader comprehension test was administered. In the second test to find out the effectiveness of the theories, translations and meanings of “storm surge” were analyzed in terms of scientific and cultural contexts. Texts/reports (both in English and Filipino) were analyzed and interviews were conducted to assess various interpretations of meanings. This study proved that applying the theories of “dynamic equivalence” and “contextual correspondence” in translating scientific articles and technical terms such as "storm surge" is effective in targeting meaning-based translations. This further affirms that cultural translation leads to a higher level of comprehension among target readers/listeners.

Author Information
Rosario M. Baria, University of the Philippines Los Banos, Philippines

Paper Information
Conference: ECLL2014
Stream: Translation and Interpretation

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